Rules & Regulations

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The Public Lands For The People (PLP)

(Click Here for PLP Official Website)

The PLP was constructed for the purpose of representing all outdoor user groups and individuals that are interested in keeping public and private lands open to prospecting, mining, and outdoor recreation on a non-discriminatory basis! PLP assists groups to join forces to maintain the laws and rights of all citizens on public and private lands (Federal, State and City). PLP will assist with representation at public hearings of government agencies that are proposing limitations and restrictions on the lands that belong to the people. PLP DOES LITIGATE! We will file injunctions, when necessary, to prevent governmental agencies from discussing public issues behind closed doors and calling them “personnel meetings”.We will come to the aid of, and give individual attention to, persons or groups who are being harassed, intimidated or mislead by people in authority (in or out of uniform) who are attempting to enforce their own ideas or opinions of laws, rules or regulations, rather than the actual laws, rules or regulations, and what it actually means.

Remember.... PUBLIC LANDS FOR THE PEOPLE Means....
Our right to Use Public Lands, Not to Abuse Public Lands.


State Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations



Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourisim, KDWPT (i.e. Kansas State Parks)

The KDWPT has no guidelines or restrictions for or against metal detecting.  It is legal to have a metal detector and use it, however, the law states:

KS 115-8-20. Construction, littering, and prohibited activities. (a) The following activities shall

be prohibited on department lands and waters except as specified in rules and regulations or as
authorized by the department.
(1) Constructing any structure, building, facility, appurtenance or roadway;
(2) dumping, discarding, or depositing trash, litter, or waste material;
(3) digging holes or pits; and
(4) destroying, defacing, degrading, or removing any of the following:
(A) Signs;
(B) real or personal property, other than property owned by that person;
(C) geological formations;
(D) historical sites;
(E) archeological relics or ruins; or
(F) vegetation, except for the noncommercial gathering of edible wild plants, wild fruits,
nuts, or fungi for human consumption.
(b) Trash, litter, and waste material shall be deposited or discarded only in containers
provided for the depositing of trash, litter, and waste material. Each person using lands or waters
where these containers are not provided shall remove any trash, litter, and waste material
generated as a result of and during the person s use of the area. (Authorized by K.S.A. 32-807;
implementing K.S.A. 32-807 and K.S.A. 32-1015; effective Dec. 4, 1989; amended July 13,
It would be wise to call and talk to the Park Ranger to get specifics.

Johnson County, Kansas - Parks & Recreations Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations


Use of Metal Detectors are prohibited in the following District locations:

  • Memorial Arboretum at Antioch Park
  • All District Athletic Fields
  • Shawnee Mission Park and Kill Creek Park Beaches (including swimming areas)
  • The Theatre in the Park Bowl that is fenced off within SMP
  • Ernie Miller Nature Park
  • Sunflower Nature Park
  • Mildale Farm
  • TimberRidge Adventure Camp

The parks / sports facilities / rental facilities covered by this district and permit, subject to the above restrictions, are:

  • Antioch Park - 6501 Antioch Rd, Merriam, KS
  • Ernie Miller Park - 909 N K7 Hwy, Olathe, KS
  • Heritage Park - 16050 Pflumm Rd, Olathe, KS
  • Kill Creek Park - 11670 Homestead Ln, Olathe, KS
  • Kill Creek Streamway Park
  • Mill Creek Streamway Park
  • Shawnee Mission Park - 7900 Renner Rd, Shawnee, KS
  • Stanley Nature Park - 6295 W 159th St, Stilwell, KS
  • Sunflower Nature Park - 36915 W 103rd St, Eudora, KS
  • Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park - 12500 W 119th St, Overland Park, KS
  • Athletic Training Center - 9301 W 73rd St, Merriam, KS
  • Mid-America Sports Complex - 20000 Johnson Dr, Shawnee KS
  • Mid-America West Sports Complex (including Okun Fieldhouse) - 20200 Johnson Dr, Shawnee KS
  • Roeland Park Sports Dome - 4850 Rosewood Dr, Roeland Park, KS
  • Mildale Farm - 35250 W 199th St, Edgerton, KS
  • TimberRidge Adventure Center - 12300 Homestead Ln, Olathe, KS

Annual Permits are valid from the date of issue till the end of the year. Cost of the permit is $6 for a JoCo resident, $11 for a non-resident. The contact phone number is 913-888-4713.


Olathe, Kansas Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations

To obtain an Olathe, Kansas metal detecting permit and the associated policy guidelines for metal detecting in Olathe Parks, please click on the 2012 activity code 21297. For a list of guidelines click here or read below.

Locations for use:
Metal detectors may be used at the following locations (provided this activity does not interfere with public use of the following facilities):
· The surrounding areas adjacent to picnic shelter houses (when not reserved)
· The surrounding areas adjacent to parking Lots
· The surrounding areas adjacent to boat Ramp and adjacent areas
· The surrounding areas adjacent to ballfields, skate park, and various court areas
· The surrounding areas adjacent to playgrounds
· Campground (when not reserved)

May not be used at:
· City Cemetery
· Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Museum
· Lone Elm Park
· Ensor Farm & Museum
· Landscaped flower and shrub beds are prohibited
· Inside the fenced areas on ballfields are prohibited
· Manicured lawn areas surrounding all city buildings are prohibited

Extracting Objects:
· Digging by hand implements only (e.g. trowel). Small probes or sand sieves are acceptable.
· Digging limited to 6 inches in depth and 6 inches in width
· Replace soil and turf to holes and restore area to original condition as much as possible.

Overland Park, Kansas Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations

The permit is free and valid for 5 years. The contact phone number to obtain this permit is 913-895-6390.  Overland Park has four very basic rules which are listed as follows:

  1. Any displacement of sod or soil should be replaced.  Items located more than 3" below the surface must be left alone.
  2. No use of shovels or spades is permitted in the parks.
  3. Use isprohibited around City buildings and Administrative sites, swimming pools, golf courses, Children's Farmstead, Arboretum and soccer complex.
  4. You must have your permit with you when operating a metal detector.



Missouri Department of Conservation - Missouri State Parks Metal Detecting Rules and Regulations

Kansas City, Missouri Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations

FEDERATION OF METAL DETECTOR AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL CLUBS INC. -The Federation of Metal Detector and Archaeological Clubs Inc. (FMDAC) was organized in 1984 as a legislative and educational organization and incorporated, as a non-profit, non-commercial, non-partisan organization.  (Click Here For The FMDAC state Permit & Licensing Lists)

The FMDAC's Mission: The FMDAC is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and protection for the hobby of recreational metal detecting and prospecting.

The FMDAC's Purpose: To unite, promote and encourage the establishment of metal detecting clubs. To preserve the sport / hobby of recreational metal detecting and prospecting. To make available to FMDAC clubs and Independent members information pertaining to the hobby and to keep members informed as to active legislation.

The FMDAC's Goal is to Educate and inform the public as to the merits of recreational metal detecting.


Federal Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations

USDA Forest Service Agency Metal Detecting Rules & Regulations

Remember Metal Detecting and Artifact Hunting Restrictions on National Forest

Release Date: May 24, 2012

The multiple use mission of the U.S. Forest Service recognizes the value of heritage and cultural resources. As a result, there are restrictions on metal detecting and artifact hunting on National Forest Lands. With the snow-free season upon us, Hiawatha National Forest officials remind you to know the rules before you consider engaging on these activities within the Hiawatha.

“The historic artifacts located on public lands belong to everyone,” says Forest Supervisor Jo Reyer. “That’s why there are federal laws designed to protect historical resources on public lands.”

In keeping with those laws, the Hiawatha National Forest has rules limiting certain activities related to relic hunting. When it comes to metal detecting and artifact hunting, the rules can vary in specific parts of the Forest. For instance, on Grand Island National Recreation Area, metal detectors are not allowed.

In other areas of the Hiawatha National Forest, possession of a metal detector is allowed, but in order to protect historical resources, there are legal restrictions on activities related to the use metal detectors on public lands. Specifically, the Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 261.9) states, "The following are prohibited: (g) Digging in, excavating, disturbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, or property. (h) Removing any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, property."

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA, 16 U.S.C. 470cc:) also prohibits these activities, stating, "No person may excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage or otherwise alter or deface any archaeological resources located on public lands or Indian lands unless such activity is pursuant to a permit...”

“So, in a nutshell, you can operate a metal detector in most areas, but you may not dig up, remove, or disturb any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources,” explains Forest Archaeologist, John Franzen.

These laws apply to all National Forest System land and do not vary from state to state. If you have questions, please contact the Forest Service at 906-428-5800.  (Click Here For Official Site)


General Rules For Metal Detecting and Prospecting on U.S. National Forrest Lands


Gold Panning Forrest Service Land

"Casual/Recreational gold panning is allowed on most National Forest System lands, as long as it is done by hand and does not involve undercutting stream banks. No permit is required for casual gold panning. The use of sluices and portable dredges is not considered casual. To operate sluices or portable dredges requires a prospecting permit from the Bureau of Land Management. Because the Eastern United States is not subject to the 1872 Mining Law a claim cannot be filed."  (Visit Forrest Service Website By Clicking Here)


 Metal Detecting on Forrest Service Land


(Click Here For Link to Forrest Service Site)

It is Forest Service policy that the recreational use of metal detectors and the collection of rocks and mineral samples are allowed on the National Forests. Generally, most of the National Forests are open to recreational mineral and rock collecting, gold panning and prospecting using a metal detector. This low impact, casual activity usually does not require any authorization.

On some eastern Forests gold panning does require a letter of authorization due to the high clay content of the soils. It is always wise to check with the local District Ranger if you have questions. Some wilderness areas are closed to gold panning and metal detecting.

Metal detecting is a legitimate means of locating gold or other mineral specimens and can be an effective prospecting tool for locating larger mineral deposits. This activity can also be conducted as a recreational activity locating lost coins, jewelry or other incidental metallic items of little historical value. Prospecting using a metal detector can be conducted under the General Mining Laws and is covered under the Forest Service 36 CFR 228A locatable mineral regulations for lands open to mineral entry. Metal detecting for treasure trove or lost items such as coins and jewelry is managed as a non mineralsrelated recreation activity.

Metal detecting is a low surface impact activity that involves digging small holes rarely more than six inches deep. Normally, metal detecting does not require a notice of intent or written authorization since it only involves searching for and occasionally removing small rock samples or mineral specimens (36 CFR 228.4(a)).

Metal detectors may be used on public land in areas that do not contain or would not reasonably be expected to contain archaeological or historical resources. Normally, developed campgrounds, swimming beaches, and other developed recreation sites are open to recreational metal detecting unless there are archaeological or historical resources present. In such cases, forest supervisors are authorized to close the area to metal detecting and the closure would be posted at the site. Such closure notices are not always practical in undeveloped areas, and federal agencies have not identified every archaeological site on public lands. It is possible; therefore, that you may encounter such archaeological remains that have not yet been documented or an area that is not closed even though it does indeed contain such remains. Archaeological remains on public land are protected under law. If you were to discover such remains, you should leave them undisturbed and notify a FS office.

The purpose of the restrictions to metal detecting on public lands is to protect historical remains. The Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 261.9) states, "The following are prohibited: (g) Digging in, excavating, disturbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, or property. (h) Removing any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, property." The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA, 16 U.S.C. 470cc:) also prohibits these activities, stating, "No person may excavate, remove,damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage or otherwise alter or deface any archaeological resources located on public lands or Indian lands unless such activity is pursuant to a permit...” ARPA exempts the collection of coins for personal use if the coins are not in an archaeological context. In some cases, historically significant coins and other metallic artifacts may be part of an historical-period archaeological site, in which case they would be considered archaeological resources and are protected under law. These laws apply to all National Forest System land and do not vary from state to state.

Four forms of metal detector use are recognized.

1. Searching for treasure trove: Treasure trove is defined as money, gems, or precious metals in the form of coin, plate, or bullion that has been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovering it later. This activity requires a Special Use Permit under The Act of June 4, 1897 (16 U.S.C. 551). Forest Service Manual 2724.4 states “allow persons to search for buried treasure on National Forest System lands, but protect the rights of the public regarding ownership of or claims on any recovered property."

2. Prospecting: Using a metal detector to locate gold or other mineral deposits is an allowed activity under the General Mining Laws and is subject to the 36 CFR 228A regulations. A Notice of Intent (36 CFR 228.4(a)) is normally not required for prospecting using a metal detector. A Notice of Intent (NOI) is required for any prospecting which might cause disturbance of surface resources. A plan of operation is required for any prospecting that will likely cause significant disturbance of surface resources. Normal metal detecting does not cause surface impacts that require either a NOI or a Plan of Operation. People who use metal detectors for prospecting should bear in mind that many of the mineralized lands within the National Forests and open to mineral entry have been “claimed” by others who have sole right to prospect and develop the mineral resources found on the mining claim. A search of County and Bureau of Land Management records should be made prior to prospecting to determine if an area has been claimed. Normally, any gold found can be removed and kept. If the removal of the gold, rocks, or minerals might cause disturbance of surface resources, beyond digging a small shallow hole, a NOI may be required.

3. Searching for historic or prehistoric artifacts: Using a metal detector to locate archaeological or historical remains is subject to the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA) as amended and requires a special use permit. Such permits are granted for scientific research only, however, there are many ways to get involved with organized, scientific research. See below for ways to use metal detectors for this purpose under sanctioned public archaeology programs.

4. Recreational pursuits: The most common form of metal detector use is searching for gold nuggets, lost coins, jewelry, and incidental metal items having no historical value. Such use is common in developed campgrounds, swimming areas, and picnic areas and requires no permit. However, one must assume personal responsibility to notice if the area may indeed contain archaeological or historical resources and if it does, cease metal detecting and notify a Forest Service office. Not doing so may result in prosecution under the Code of Federal Regulations or ARPA.

Metal detecting on the National Forests is recognized as a legitimate prospecting method under the General Mining Laws and also as a recreational activity for the casualcollection of rocks and minerals. This policy does not permit the use of metal detectors in or around known or undiscovered cultural or historic sites in order to protect our valuable, non-renewable historical resources. However, recognizing the universal interest in archaeology and history and the vast public knowledge of such resources, the USDA Forest Service sponsors a public archaeology program through which metal detector enthusiasts and others can help. Passport In Time (PIT) is a national program inviting the public to work with agency archaeologists on historic preservation projects. We have done numerous projects through PIT in cooperation with metal detecting clubs and individuals. The cooperation has been beneficial for both the detectorists and agency’s archaeologists. Locating archaeological sites becomes a joint endeavor and welearn a great deal. If you would like more information on this program, call 1-800-281-9176 or visit

Mike Doran May 27, 2009"


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